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The University of Southampton
Winchester Centre for Global Futures in Art Design & Media

Re-visiting Land Art Symposium Revisits the term “Land Art”

Published: 15 July 2013

Re-visiting Land Art, organised by the John Hansard Gallery and Southbank Centre and developed with Professor Jonathan Harris at Winchester School of Art, offered its audience a chance to learn more about the rich art historical, conceptual and environmental contexts for Land Art practice.

The Symposium, which took place at Southampton City Art Gallery and the University of Southampton’s Highfield Campus, included a range of presentations and papers, including a keynote talk by Harris, a paper by Curator Joy Sleeman, and an In Conversation between Curator Ben Tufnell and Land Artist Nancy Holt.

Footage of the event, which took place on 11th May 2013 and attracted an audience of 55, is now available to view here . Joy Sleeman’s talk is available at this link , please note that this is in sound format only for copyright reasons.

The Symposium was held in conjunction with two major Land Art exhibitions taking place in Southampton over Summer 2013, which explore Land Art in its British and Anglo-American contexts. The first, Uncommon Ground: Land Art in Britain 1966-1979 at Southampton City Art Gallery, is the most comprehensive exhibition of British Land Art to date and questions how landscape and nature came to be key concerns of Conceptual art in Britain, exploring the unique characteristics of the way Land Art developed here. Discussing the exhibition at the Symposium, Co-curator (with Sleeman) Ben Tufnell raised critical issues around the limitations of the term Land Art as a way of referring to conceptual arts practices in the US and UK that engage with the landscape.

The second exhibition is Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson: England and Wales 1969 at the John Hansard Gallery. This exhibition presents the work of two leading world figures within the Land Art movement, US artists Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson. It examines a short but significant moment within their working life together - a trip made to the UK in August 1969 – bringing together a range of the photographic and sculptural works produced during, and influenced by, their visit.

Image Credit: Robert Smithson at Pentre Ifan dolmen, Pembroke National Park, Wales, 1969. Photographed by Nancy Holt. © Nancy Holt.

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